Listening to stories

Notes on life, by James Welch



Non-linear stories via @tomux #CIRCUS2012

At the Communication Council’s Circus, Tom Uglow, (@tomux, Creative Labs, Google Sydney) told a good story. It’s a self proclaimed non-linear story, so let’s jump to the middle:

A nice metaphor, as he points out. A bloke sitting near me said, “wish someone would show that to Gerry Harvey.” Harvey Norman, the TV, DVD and gadget retailer, still sees the internet as a crisis point. Continue reading “Non-linear stories via @tomux #CIRCUS2012”

The post-Jobs post: Samsung; the bandwagon; flowers

Samsung launched a new product today. Samsung Galaxy SII.

Queues for Mr Samsung

I only know about this launch because at five to eight this morning there was a queue outside the Samsung store here in the central business district of Sydney. Not a massive queue – not by Apple standards – but a queue none the less. Good work, Mr Samsung.

Well, Samsung is on the front page of The Economist last week. The business is held up as a success story.

And Apple made it onto the front of this week’s publication, of course. A success story and also an obituary.

But I when I say “Good work, Mr Samsung” I realise that unlike the recently deceased Mr Apple, we don’t know who Mr Samsung is. And I’m fine with that. As I said on the recent Mumbrella podcast (33.55), the new CEO at Apple is a self-proclaimed team player, not a figurehead.

But we should be careful about our eulogy for Steve Jobs. Especially after reading Adam Ferrier’s piece on mumbrella, the ad industry news&views source:

We are living in a world where there is an unparalleled outpouring of grief for someone who has made us fall in love with our PDAs, computers, and MP3s.

What the fuck?

Adam founded and sold the Australian branch of Naked Communications. He’s very bright and very convincing. Well, almost always. And now I feel a little silly about my last post, Computing Made Cool. You know, the one where I quoted a Jobs quote. In Adland, the Jobs quotes are as ubiquitous as the Ogilvy quotes. And I jumped Continue reading “The post-Jobs post: Samsung; the bandwagon; flowers”

Determined to be different? Commbank creatives have all the fun

Just saw this on mumbrella “Commonwealth Bank has released the next in its new series of stylised black and white ads.”

Pretty ad. But such a pity that the advertising has nothing to do with the actual product. Well, maybe they have a mandate to call you. But when they do are they really helpful? For example, I’m in the process of leaving CommBank because they may be determined to be different. But they lack the ability to hire as charming and helpful people as I have found, consistently, at Westpac. Funny thing is that CommBank haven’t even noticed that my salary doesn’t come in, that the credit card doesn’t get used, that as soon as I’m settled into Westpac I’m shuttling out of Commbank for good (or if they have they don’t care! Hmm is that disconcerting?)

My comment at the bottom of the mumbrella article was about the (lack of) irony…

Jean-Pierre Jeunet gets to film the ads for an Australian bank in a location that looks like a gated community outside LA. That’s pretty determined to be different.

That sounds like the kind of after dinner game to play with the kids:

Stephen Conroy gets the UN gig – WHY?

I fail to understand why Senator Stephen Conroy got the UN gig. Senator Conroy is the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate in Australia. That’s a long job title. But it’s okay he has a big business card.

We're going to the UN, mmmkay?

Conroy claims to be there for (middle?) Australia. The people’s champion. Giving broadband to everyone. Just very slow broadband because he thinks that by restricting content he can stop all the nasty content on the web reaching Australia… “Mmm’kay,” as South Park’s Mr Garrison would say. (Does anyone else see the comparison, or is that just me?)

Yes, he’s slowing down broadband in Australia to speeds even the luddites will deplore. He’s opening channels for the government to censor anything they don’t consider right, polite or favorable.

Continue reading “Stephen Conroy gets the UN gig – WHY?”

#datadriveseverything – but not at Qantas

In an earlier post I outlined the three steps to success in communications: Content, Targeting, Distribution. One conclusion was that in the world of targeting and beyond, #datadriveseverything. It seems that targeting is something that Qantas needs to spend more time analysing:

Over at the mumbrella news & opinion website, Tim Burrowes flags that Qantas is spamming it’s database with scary stories (my words not his. For his words click here.)

Qantas PR team lacks data management skills

My comment:

This looks like a good example of a company that is only just starting to understand the opportunity provided data-driven communications.

Open communications, great. Poor use of database though.

Continue reading “#datadriveseverything – but not at Qantas”

Ad agency breaking news. Four points to remember.


There has to be a right way to launch a “breaking campaign”, right?

Well, today, the guys I Continue reading “Ad agency breaking news. Four points to remember.”

The internet is deadly

The internet killed an ad agency: I was pinged to see this short film by Saatchi and Saatchi Canada. They have predicted the demise of the traditional ad agency. Apparently digital is getting more important.

Am glad they noticed. Still, it amused me for most of the two and a half minutes.

But this really grabbed my attention: Tom Scott tells a story of internet-enabled-connectivity leading to a mega-swarm, the likes of which FourSquare would not want to predict.

The internet killed a human. (Hypothetically.)

Both tell the same story for businesses: Choose life. Choose to wake up to the possibilities that life now holds. But we should choose carefully.

Retail: ‘Swonderful. ‘Smarvellous. ‘Sdata.

“Supposedly in eight years, Kevin Rudd’s fibre to the home, 100 mega bits per second, broadband network will be completed and a velvet revolution will be underway. To put this in perspective if every other country stands still (they won’t) Australia will have the fastest broadband network in the world.” Steve Tindall, quoted here from his article on Retail & Buying Intelligence in is a retail guru in Sydney. This means a lot of businesses are going to have to workout what this “velvet revolution” means for them.

TescoIn the UK, Tesco’s Clubcard information allows the supermarket giant to gain information on Continue reading “Retail: ‘Swonderful. ‘Smarvellous. ‘Sdata.”

If pigs flew…

This little piggy went to market...
This little piggy went to market...

Pigs have been talked about everywhere recently. Yet they flew nowhere. Phew. (Don’t speak so soon, eh?)

(Roughly) overheard in a cafe the other day: Continue reading “If pigs flew…”

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